I got no time for fake n****z
Bow down and give it up for the one and only Queen Bee of Hip-Hop/Rap, as the Grammy winning Rapstress supreme Lil’ Kim graces our Throwback Tuesday post of the week y’all!
More than a decade and a half ago, in 1996, a petite 4-feet-10-inched pint-sized female Rapper with more guts than anybody in the bizness dared to step into a world dominated exclusively by men, grabbed the game by the balls, and unleashed one of the most provocative, salacious and raunchy albums the music world had ever witnessed – a giant bravado of a début album titled ‘Hard Core‘ that sent shock-waves across the industry. Hip-Hop, rather music as a whole, has never been the same ever since. Male Rappers suddenly had no idea what hit them, when an unbelievably fierce Kimberly Jones aka Lil’ Kim literally drove the entire herd into a corner with some insanely raw and sexually ferocious lyrics that would literally make the most hard-core of male Rappers blush and scoot off. There was no doubt about the fact that Lil’ Kim was at the forefront of Hip-Hop, and so she stayed for more than a decade.
Tutored by the Notorious B.I.G, Lil’ Kim was trained to excel, and excel she did – and how! ‘Hard Core‘ unleashed a relentless onslaught of singles that slayed the Rap, Pop and R’n’B Charts, her début single being the now-iconic ‘No Time‘ featuring Puff Daddy. Kim mixed her humongous appetite for sex with fame and humor to create one of the most endearing Rap efforts of all time. The seductive track proved to be the perfect launch for Lil’ Kim, and her aggressive yet feminine vocals were smooth enough to carry the entire song on her shoulders with ample ease, irrespective of no singing on the track, and a few guest verses by Puff Daddy. Lyrically, Lil’ Kim made sure she was unapologetic about her potent rawness – ‘Now watch mama, go up and down dick to jaw crazy, uhh! Say my name baby‘. Bold would be an understatement. Filthy maybe? Yes, but filth with substance. Watch the Marcus Nispel directed video shot at the World Trade Center right here :
Irrespective of its explicit nature, the album and its singles were both a commercial and a critical smash. ‘Hard Core‘ debuted and peaked at # 11 on the Billboard 200 and # 3 on the Billboard R’n’B/Hip-Hop Albums Chart – eventually being certified Double Platinum for over 2 million units shipped in the US alone. ‘No Time‘ went straight to # 1 on the Billboard Rap Charts and stayed there for a whopping 9 weeks, while peaking at # 9 on the Hot R’n’B/Hip-Hop Songs Chart and # 18 on the Billboard Hot 100, eventually being certified Gold by the RIAA.
Till date, there’s no one who’s dared to do what Kim did. Irrespective of all the ridicule faced by her today about her plastic surgery, her alleged beef with Foxy Brown, Nicki Minaj and Azealia Banks – it’s Kim’s influence that’s still evident. I would go out on a limb here and say Kim opened the doors for Nicki and company to make it big today, and she raised the benchmark for female Rappers – making it acceptable and cool to be bold, sexy and provocative – basically beating men at their own game. Since the advent of Janet Jackson (Kim’s idol), no other black woman dared to push the envelope to the extent that Lil’ Kim did when it came to sexuality. And ‘Hard Core‘ was only the beginning of a stellar discography that boasted of 3 consecutive Billboard Top 10 albums, a Grammy Award and a Billboard # 1 single in the form of ‘Lady Marmalade‘, a collaboration with Christina Aguilera, Mya and Pink for the soundtrack of the film ‘Moulin Rouge‘. Irrespective of Missy, Eve, Foxy and Lauryn dominating the late 90’s, the throne would always belong to Kim – she started it all, and she was and always will be the Queen Bitch of the game.